Bramham – Bishop Monkton, 1st May 2021, 45 miles

A perfect (from a socially-distanced perspective) six gathered at Bramham Memorial at 9:00 on a bright morning with a chilly northerly breeze. The aforementioned six were Keith, Phil “The Spill” – still recovering, Darren, Alec, Stuart and me, Mark. I thought Stuart was a new rider to the club but I subsequently found out that he has been a member for about 20 years but I had just never seen him on a ride before. Darren and Keith bravely/foolishly wore shorts, the rest of us were sensibly dressed and long gloves were much appreciated.

The destination was Bishop Monkton so we set out to Wetherby, using the bike path mostly, and then a little A168 (obligatory on Wheelers rides it seems) before turning to join the Knaresborough road in Kirk Deighton. Then it was north through Knaresborough and Farnham to Bishop Monkton. There seemed to be plenty of road works and traffic lights which made this leg of the ride rather less relaxing than it might have been.

After passing through Bishop Monkton we turned towards Boroughbridge and our coffee stop. There were plenty of cyclists in Boroughbridge and plenty of cyclists in Plenty so we opted for a visit to Havenhands the Bakers and a seat in the sun. After a pleasant break we started to wind back to Bramham via the Dunsforths. Along the way Darren had a puncture so Stuart and Phil rode on while the other three of us stood around and watched Darren change a tube – it’s a spectator sport after all. Following the tube change and bit of brake jiggery-pokery we set off again through Wixley, Cattal and Boston Spa as a group of six again eventually. For some reason we ended up split into three groups of two before arriving roughly co-incidentally in Bramham for a debrief and goodbyes. At this point Darren realised that his rear brake had been rubbing for the previous 10 miles and a bit of truing on his rear wheel might be in order.

The one mechanical/electrical which went unremarked and unnoticed was the fact that I was stuck in a single gear for the entire ride, having omitted to charge my Di2 battery. Luckily I was stuck in a manageable gear and it was a flat social ride, so no harm done to me and no one will ever know…

Mark Lawrence